How to open a stuck lock
Do youJammed lock? We understand you! We know how scary it is to run into a door with a jammed lock. Although in internal spaces it is not so much, but an exterior door with the lock stuck while we are outside, on a rainy afternoon, and perhaps, with a little hunger … we better not continue imagining this.
We just want you to know that we understand you and it doesn’t matter if it is of a door lock, closet, car, etc. we are ready to help you. Therefore, we have prepared this article with some techniques that will tell you how to open a stuck lock.
Applying graphite powder to the lock
You might think: How is this possible? Well, the reason is that locks in general can get stuck from lack of lubrication. Mainly if they are exposed to environmental factors or are in places of little use.
For example, exterior door locks are constantly exposed to breeze, humidity, rain, heat. And although it may be protected in a way, they are always exposed. And all of those factors cause internal mechanism corrosion and rust, which can easily lock them up.
To avoid this, constant maintenance of the locks, including lubrication, is essential. But if it has already happened you must follow the following steps:
- Get a graphite powder lubricant.
There are several ways to acquire it, it can be buying it in a store specialized in hardware stores and locksmiths, in online stores or in the latter case, extracting the graphite from a pencil.
Graphite powder containers have an applicator that is inserted through the keyhole and tilts to apply the powder, although there is a spray version that is more convenient to apply.
- You just need to sprinkle the inside of the lock with graphite powder so that it spreads inside.
- In order for the internal mechanism to be properly lubricated, insert the key, which can also be sprayed with powder, and turn it until the mechanism is impregnated with powder and unlocks allowing the lock to function properly.
In case you haven’t purchased the powder and choose to get it from a pencil, you need to make sure to pulverize the graphite well. Ideally, a fine powder is obtained, so the coarser particles should be discarded.
- Cut a triangle-shaped sheet of paper. Add the graphite powder to the center of the cut sheet.
- Place one of the points of the triangle in the hole in the lock, where the key enters.
- Fold the rest of the sheet into a channel where the powder is on the wave side.
- Angle the blade toward the end that is inside the hole so that the graphite powder falls into the lock.
- Insert the key and turn it so that the entire mechanism is lubricated.
If the jammed lock is from a car door, you apply the same procedure, it is just as effective, as long as the failure is due to lack of lubrication or rust.
Leveling the door
Another reason a lock can get stuck is due to unevenness; and the main cause of this is the misadjusted hinges. This causes the latch to press against the edges of the strike, making it difficult to exit when attempting to open the lock. And, when that is not corrected in time, the lock gets stuck.
In these cases we must work in order to release the latch to open the lock and to be able to adjust the door hinges. Therefore, the first thing to do is lift the door to identify if there is such a mismatch and where it is facing.
But we are going to need a flat-head screwdriver; a rubber bar, a piece of wood, or any element that allows us to place it on the upper and lower tabs of the door to achieve the adjustment of the latch.
- We align the door as much as possible with the rubber or wood. It is very likely that we will not be able to align the latch properly, but loosening it a little will make our work easier.
- We apply a little lubricating oil to the latch to facilitate its exit.
- If we have the key to the lock, we insert it and turn it in the direction it opens. If it is difficult for us to turn it because the latch still does not come out, we do not force it. This is where we make use of the screwdriver.
- We put the screwdriver directly into the strike plate using a lot of pressure to embed it as much as possible and remove the latch.
- At the same time we turn the key. Thus we release the latch and avoid breaking the key inside the lock.
Once the lock and therefore the door are open, we are ready to adjust the hinges. So take a screwdriver that suits the type of screw that holds the hinges (usually spade or flat) and pay attention to the following instructions:
- Open the door as far as you have good access to the hinges.
- Place the wooden dowels or the rubber bar between the floor and the door positioning it at the correct height to tighten the loosened screws. If you think it is necessary, use a level guide.
- Using the screwdriver, screw in the screws until they are tight. If one is loose, it is best to replace it because it will cause problems in the future.
- Apply lubricant to the hinges and lock to prevent the internal mechanism from jamming. Just don’t use greasy lubricants.
- Make sure that once the lock is opened, it continues to function properly.
- When you notice that the lock begins to work strangely, such as hardening to turn the key, you have to push it to open, make strange sounds or the door begins to tilt, check it and prevent it from happening to adults.
- Doing proper and constant maintenance of the locks will help maintain their useful life and avoid bad times.
Remember that your peace of mind and safety depends on these mechanical systems working properly. Do not hesitate to call a locksmith If you require it, they are trained to solve these problems, do not hesitate!